The off-season has just begun. However, some important trades that will likely impact the Giants have been made. I will highlight those which I think are important around the league:
Manny Ramirez has picked up his $20 million option to stay with the Los Angeles Dodgers through the 2010 season. I am happy about this. Ramirez is simply not the slugger he used to be. Unlike Bonds, who kept putting up amazing numbers almost to the day he retired (perhaps due to prolonged PED use), Ramirez simply is not hitting like he used to. During the 2009 NLCS he hit in the .260's. He has complained that his knees are also hurting him, so playing in left-field is getting harder (and he never was a good defensive player). I am glad Ramirez picked up this option because it basically locks the Dodgers into a very expensive contract. If LA wasn't committed to Manny, they might be able to go out and get the likes of Matt Holliday or Jason Bay. I'm not sure what their budget looks like, but perhaps it will also put them out of the running in the event Roy Hallady goes on the FA market in the near future.
JJ Hardy has been traded to the Twins. This really does not impact the Giants that much, however last week I thought about how wise it would be to eat Renteria's contract and pick up a cheap shortstop, who might have some future potential. JJ Hardy was perfect. The former Brewers shortstop has put up some decent number in the past, however he had a disastrous 2009 season. In fact, he was sent down to the minors for part of that season. I do believe, however, that he will have a bounce-back year. Oh well, there is no crying of spoiled milk. I think the best option for the Giants at shortstop is to the hope Renteria's dismal performance throughout 2009 was due to his injury. Hope that 2010 is a bounce-back year for him.
Juan Uribe has also filed for free agency. I really doubt we will see Uribe back next year. Like Molina, there is just no place for him. He was awesome during his tenure with the Giants, and I will be very sad to see him go. After having a great year, this guy deserves a pretty good contract on a team where he will be playing every day.
Coco Crisp and Austin Kearns hit the FA market when their teams declined their options. Crisp might be a cheap FA pickup for the Giants, that might fill a good role on the team.
That's all the noteworthy news I have for today!